[Vintage] 18 Rounds with White Eldrazi

While this site is dedicated to Legacy D&T, let’s be real, I’m going to be jamming Thalia in Vintage too. With Eternal Extravaganza 6 on the horizon, I figured this was a decent time for some Vintage content. I recently played 18 rounds in a 20 person Vintage League in Roanoke. We played three rounds of 6 matches, and you were allowed to switch decks between rounds. Here was my initial decklist:

Round 1

Artifacts (13)
Black Lotus
Chalice of the Void
Trinisphere
Mox Sapphire
Mox Ruby
Mox Pearl
Mox Jet
Mox Emerald
Mana Crypt
Thorn of Amethyst

Creatures (26)
Spirit of the Labyrinth
Containment Priest
Thalia, Heretic Cathar
Reality Smasher
Eldrazi Displacer
Phyrexian Revoker
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
Thought-Knot Seer

Lands (21)
Strip Mine
Karakas
Eldrazi Temple
Wasteland
Plains
Ancient Tomb
Cavern of Souls
Sideboard (15)
Ghost Quarter
Fragmentize
Rest in Peace
Pithing Needle
Kataki, War’s Wage
Containment Priest
Grafdigger’s Cage
Null Rod
Crucible of Worlds


The maindeck is relatively stock. There are about two flex slots in the maindeck, and I decided I wanted to try Spirit of the Labyrinth. Monastery Mentor and Young Pyromancer are pretty powerful alongside the format’s powerful draw cards like Ancestral Recall and Gush, so crippling those enablers seemed like a great idea to me. The sideboard was relatively generic, with the exception of the Crucible of Worlds. While that might have been a bit ambitious, it seemed like it had great potential for abuse.

The first round went very well for me. I ended with a record of 5-1.

1-2 vs Junk Hatebears
2-0 vs Shops
2-0 vs Shops
2-1 vs Eldrazi White
2-0 vs Bomberman Oath
2-1 vs Mentor Gush

Given my pairings for the round, I wasn’t overly pleased with the Spirits in the maindeck, but I did conceptually like them quite a bit. I felt pretty good about the rest of my card choices. My strong artifact hate package made quick work of the Shops decks, but Walking Ballista was an absolutely terrifying card; I used Phyrexian Revoker and Pithing Needle on it every time if I didn’t have a target on board. The Oath matchup felt borderline unwinnable for my opponent; every card in the deck has such a high impact on the board that the Oath player really needs to have some great sideboard cards to even have a chance. I was surprised at the effectiveness of Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy in the Mentor matchup; in the game I lost, my opponent used a Time Walk, dropped JVP, flashed back the Time Walk, and created a small army with Mentor.


I intended to play Shops for round two of the league, but the decklists were due on a Monday after I just got back from GP:Louisville. I didn’t feel like I had the time to research the various lists and tweak one to my liking, so I decided to run back Eldrazi White again, opting to swap the Spirit of the Labyrinth and Kataki, War’s Wage. I’m pretty sure this is the sideboard I submitted, but my sideboard didn’t make it into our decklist spreadsheet for some reason.

Round 2

Artifacts (13)
Black Lotus
Chalice of the Void
Trinisphere
Mox Sapphire
Mox Ruby
Mox Pearl
Mox Jet
Mox Emerald
Mana Crypt
Thorn of Amethyst

Creatures (26)
Kataki, War’s Wage
Containment Priest
Thalia, Heretic Cathar
Reality Smasher
Eldrazi Displacer
Phyrexian Revoker
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
Thought-Knot Seer

Lands (21)
Strip Mine
Karakas
Eldrazi Temple
Wasteland
Plains
Ancient Tomb
Cavern of Souls
Sideboard (15)
Null Rod
Ghost Quarter
Fragmentize
Spirit of the Labyrinth
Kataki, War’s Wage
Pithing Needle
Containment Priest
Grafdigger’s Cage
Rest in Peace


Despite the similarity in decklists, this round went very poorly for me:

1-2 vs Mentor Gush
2-1 vs Grixis Thieves
1-2 vs Emrakul, the Promised End Control (UW Standstill without Standstill)
1-2 vs Eldrazi White
2-0 vs UW Landstill
1-2 vs Shops

Though the round broke poorly for me, I wasn’t unhappy with playing the deck again. My Mentor and Shops opponents hit strings of good draws in game three which got them out of tight spots. My Eldrazi White opponent made a few errors, but since he was able to win the mana war in two of the games, I wasn’t able to capitalize on them. The Emrakul Control deck actually couldn’t do anything against me. Due to an odd board state involving a Moat and Chalice of the Void, he had to kill me by taking my turn, tapping my two Ancient Tomb, and bouncing his Emrakul with my Karakas to repeat the process. Vintage is neat.

I did notice a few poor choices in my own deckbuilding and sideboarding in this round; I am not blaming my losses this round on variance. I lost a game to a Moat while I had a Fragmentize in hand; I was unable to resolve it due to my own Chalice of the Void on one. I was really hot on Fragmentize in round one, but after realizing this potential issue, I decided my future lists would need at least one Disenchant or other similar card. I somewhat frequently encountered issues with my own Kataki, War’s Wage taxing my resources as much as, if not more than, my opponent’s resources. In a deck full of artifact mana and Thorn of Amethyst style cards, it can be a liability. This is even more true in the post-board games where Pithing Needle, Null Rod, and Crucible of Worlds would be taxed by it as well. I also decided that I wanted to try a piece of real removal in the deck; the Containment Priest and Eldrazi Displacer combo has great potential, but doesn’t come up quite as often as you would imagine.


Decklists for Round 3 were due shortly after the team event in Baltimore. I got a terrible case of the flu and was out for two weeks. I intended to play a five color humans deck because I wanted to try out Kambal, Consul of Allocation, but fever kept me from thinking clearly. I decided to run back Eldrazi White again! In my fevered state, I decided that Fairgrounds Warden was insane for some reason and that Mental Misstep needed to be in the deck.

Round 3

Artifacts (13)
Black Lotus
Chalice of the Void
Trinisphere
Mox Sapphire
Mox Ruby
Mox Pearl
Mox Jet
Mox Emerald
Mana Crypt
Thorn of Amethyst

Creatures (26)
Fairgrounds Warden
Containment Priest
Thalia, Heretic Cathar
Reality Smasher
Eldrazi Displacer
Phyrexian Revoker
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
Thought-Knot Seer

Lands (21)
Strip Mine
Karakas
Eldrazi Temple
Wasteland
Plains
Ancient Tomb
Cavern of Souls
Sideboard (15)
Null Rod
Ghost Quarter
Disenchant
Fairgrounds Warden
Pithing Needle
Containment Priest
Mental Misstep

Fairgrounds Warden was actually pretty good. There are more effective and interesting alternatives like Palace Jailer, but the Warden only has a single white in its mana cost, which is what pushed me to try it in the first place. It plays well with Containment Priest to boot, and the three toughness can hold back some smaller threats. Mental Misstep, while not having the greatest synergy with the deck, was actually fine. It was great on the draw, where some annoying cards like Deathrite Shaman or Ancestral Recall might otherwise resolve before you can take action. It also doubled as a protection spell for my first threat. While Vintage doesn’t have a ton of removal spells in comparison to Modern or Legacy, a timely Swords to Plowshares can give your opponent a big opening; a second removal spell often means you fall too far behind to catch up. Again, it is a bit of a nonbo with Chalice of the Void, but that doesn’t particularly matter.

2-0 vs Mentor Gush
2-1 vs Tezzerator
1-2 vs Junk Hatebears
2-1 vs Dredge
0-2 vs Shops
2-0 vs 4 Color Leomancer

My decklist felt pretty good this round, and I’d likely try something like this again given the chance. 4 Fairgrounds Warden was probably excessive, but I like to have access to it (or another similar card) in the 75. I don’t like Dismember in an Ancient Tomb deck, but Swords to Plowshares or Blessed Alliance might be reasonable; in many of the matchups where you want removal (e.g. the mirror and pseudo-mirror, Shops), your taxing effects are coming out anyway.

I found myself trimming or cutting the Eldrazi Displacer and Containment Priest package somewhat commonly. I think those cards are important to the deck, but I wonder if their numbers in the main could be trimmed a bit. Displacer in particular was hard to cast, since Cavern of Souls very frequently names Human. I’d like to explore Vryn Wingmare in the maindeck again, both for the flying ability (Moat is rough) and for the taxing effect.


I feel like this deck has pretty good matchups across the board. I didn’t feel favored against the Junk Hatebears deck, but otherwise I felt at least even against everything else. The Shops matchup is a little awkward and somewhat draw dependent, but I’m never unhappy to be playing against it; both players have a pretty big number of bricks in their decks in game one, and the Shops player really needs a Mishra’s Workshop to pull ahead. I could see wanting another piece of hate or two for Dredge as well, but I only played against it once and don’t know for sure. While Eldrazi White doesn’t have the objective power of other Vintage decks, it does have a rather good set of tools that you can use to dismantle the gameplans of other decks.

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Phil Gallagher

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